Nursing jobs in health informatics are relatively new because the field of health informatics can only grow as fast as hospitals adapt to technology changes. However, there are distinctive careers that are perfectly suited for students who love both IT and nursing.
What is Nursing Health Informatics?
Health informatics is the comprehensive study of the methods and resources needed to manage health information, according to Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Health informatics involves medical data, research, practice and technology. Therefore, health informatics professionals will use standard tools, such as health information systems (HIS), electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR). Health informatics technology is based on clinical informatics, which is based on medical data collected during the course of patient care. Going even deeper, nursing informatics is a subclass of health informatics that incorporates every aspect of nurses’ interactions with patients and health care technology systems. Nursing informatics uses nursing, computer and information science to manage nursing data and knowledge. It’s a unique field that is becoming more important as more health care facilities transition to online systems and technologies.
Nursing Informatics Specialist
One of the most common nursing jobs in health informatics is a nursing informatics specialist. They are charged with evaluating, coordinating and implementing clinical processes and systems. For example, they must monitor assigned areas to ensure compliance with defined EHR standards and workflows. If necessary, they collaborate with management to develop corrective action plans and strategies. They directly work with quality or process improvement managers to facility changes in the organization. In order to implement improvements, they act as a liaison between staff and departments. Part of their time is spent training other employees and management. Nursing informatics specialists are expected to have a few years of clinical experience with medical information systems.
Clinical Informatics Specialist
Clinical informatics specialists provide technical support and clinical expertise to the development and management of the electronic health record (EHR). Specifically, they focus on clinical-based documentation regulations for legal medical records. Clinical informatics specialists must know how to develop and deploy role-based training, end user coaching and creative leadership to ensure that health care professionals can effectively and appropriately use technology. Therefore, they must have extensive knowledge of the legal medical record requirements for coding and billing support. Ideally, they will be able to provide leadership and develop relationships in order to improve patient care and EHR functionality. In order to accomplish this, they will work together with other health care professionals to ensure that clinical workflows are efficiently managed and consistently improved. They assist with creating process models, designing workflow processes and identifying needed process changes.
Nursing Informatics Trainers
Nursing informatics trainers provide initial instruction for new employees and also on-going training for existing employees. This includes coaching on how to use standard and advanced system features and functions. This is especially important, because regular technology updates result in new processes and procedures. Learning session formats are one on one, classroom style or self-paced online modules. Nursing informatics trainers must be able to assess and identify employee learning problems. On the other hand, they must be able to work with IT personnel and process improvement managers. In fact, they must be able to effectively communicate with technical and health care personnel regarding information technology. In fact, they must be tactful and persuasive in order to properly educate others.
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To wrap up, there are cutting edge nursing jobs in health informatics available for students who love health care, data management and information technology.